Many of Elvis Presley’s songs have achieved legendary reputations. Because of this, it’s terribly difficult to choose which Elvis song was the greatest. For some, however, his 1956 hit “Heartbreak Hotel” is a firm favorite.
But you think deciding on your favorite Elvis song is hard? Try counting the amount of covers of “Heartbreak Hotel.” Just a few of the many talented musicians who have made their own versions are Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, and Bob Dylan. However, there is one version by an iconic country star that shines out above all others.
Way back in 1979, Willie Nelson and fellow country star Leon Russell did their own rendition of The King’s classic song. Their cover achieved a great chart victory. It reached the top spot on the Billboard country charts right after its release.
Willie and Leon took their cover of “Heartbreak Hotel” to television, along with Willie’s longtime harmonica player, Mickey Raphael. Their rendition perfectly blended country and blues, and even managed to add a bit more of an upbeat tune to Elvis’ original chart-topper.
Performing in a barn-like stage with a giant Texas flag behind them, the group got the house on fire with a performance that definitely would have won a smile from Elvis.
Even though you can’t see the crowd, you can tell Willie and company’s performance fired them up. The audience started showering them with cheers and rounds of applause even before they finished singing.
You can watch Willie’s version of “Heartbreak Hotel” below to check for yourself. Don’t be blown away if you find yourself dancing along in your seat!